Wisdom Collection

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Search Results: desire

  • Tricycle Community 1 comment

    Ambivalent Zen Paid Member

    Roshi wears his Yankee cap to breakfast, doesn’t remove it even after we sit down. He has a large collection of hats, but he has worn this one exclusively since I bought it for him last week at Yankee Stadium. Slightly self-conscious about his shaved head, he never goes out without a hat, but the Yankee cap has the added advantage of making him look, if not like an American, at least at home in the culture. Like any Zen master, he aims to walk the streets as if invisible, attract no attention, leave no trace of himself in anyone’s mind. The robes he wears in the zendo are seldom worn outside it. He favors flannel shirts and khaki pants, Saucony running shoes, a Yankee jacket in the fall and, when the weather turns, a parka and a black woolen watch cap purchased through the L. L. Bean catalogue. In addition to hats, he collects watches and seems to wear a different one every day. More »
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    Good Death Paid Member

    "Your mind state at the time you draw your last breath is crucial, for upon this hinges the subsequent direction and embodiment of the life force. Only with a disciplined and spiritually prepared mind can you hope to resist the pull of old patterns of craving and clinging as your final energies are slipping away. The impulses of thought, feeling, and perception all gather together in this last breath with great potency ... " —Philip Kapleau Roshi So exactly which last breath is the roshi talking about here? The last breath taken before lapsing into coma or vegetative state? The last breath taken before being placed on a respirator? Or the last breath taken when a court orders the respirator removed, one year later? More »
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    A Democracy of the Imagination Paid Member

                         Ernest Hemingway spoke once of sitting at his desk each morning to face "the horror of a blank sheet of paper." He found himself (as any writer can confirm) having to produce by the end of the day a series of words arranged in a way that has never before been imagined. You sit there, alone, hovering on the cusp between nothing and something. This is not a blank, stale nothing; it is an awesome nothing charged with unrealized potential. And the hovering is the kind that can fill you with dread. Rearrangement of the items on your desk assumes an irresistible attraction. More »
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    Compassion Restored Paid Member

    Before becoming one of the great world religion scholars of our time and a self-proclaimed “freelance monotheist,” Karen Armstrong had given up on religion. Raised in England in the years following World War II, Armstrong became a Roman Catholic nun in the order of Society of the Holy Child Jesus when she was still a teenager. After seven painful years, Armstrong left the church, frustrated and fed up with what she felt was an overly dogmatic institution. More »
  • Tricycle Community 5 comments

    A Mind Pure, Concentrated, and Bright Paid Member

    Leigh Brasington, 55, has been a Buddhist practitioner since 1985 and is the senior American student of the German-born Theravada teacher Ayya Khema. Raised in Mississippi the son of a Presbyterian minister, Brasington lost faith in the family religion at the age of 18, while reading James Michener's The Source, an epic novel that traces the history of Judaism. "Basically, God died that summer." A decade later, he "awakened to the spiritual dimension of life" while traveling through Asia on a round-the-world tour. Actual practice, however, didn't begin until several years later, when he attended a meditation retreat led by Ayya Khema, who eventually helped Brasington map his way through the jhanas and urged him to teach. [Khema died in 1997—see Tricycle, Spring 1998.] Today he spends several months of the year traveling the United States, Western Europe, and beyond, leading meditation retreats—most of which include jhana practice. More »
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    The Buddha of Infinite Light and Life Paid Member

    Taitetsu Unno, professor emeritus of religious studies at Smith College, is one of the major figures in post–World War II American Jodo Shinshu Buddhism. Besides his numerous scholarly publications on Buddhism, his books River of Fire, River of Water: An Introduction to the Pure Land Tradition of Shin Buddhism (Doubleday, 1998) and Shin Buddhism: Bits of Rubble Turn into Gold (Doubleday, 2002) have helped many people to discover the riches of this major Buddhist tradition. More »